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News from the Executive Director

Dear NBYT Family and Friends,

This month, as many of you know, we’ve been hard at work rehearsing for Mary Poppins Jr. What many of you don’t know is that this will be my last production as Executive Director of NBYT.

At the time I helped to begin NBYT nine years ago, I was responsible for getting my daughter Clare off to school and to other activities. The flexibility that NBYT gave me—and the ability to bring Clare along with me at times—was important over these past years, and I chose that flexibility rather than seeking higher-paying work. Now that Clare has graduated high school, I no longer need that flexibility, and I’ve decided that it’s time for the next chapter in my career.

In the past nine years, I’ve worked with over 8,000 inspiring young participants in NBYT programs and productions on stages and in classrooms. I’ve also had the pleasure of leading a creative, talented, and dedicated staff, and working with devoted volunteers. Together, we built a professional company offering high-quality, low-cost, and inclusive programs in the performing arts. We were named the state’s best children’s theater by Connecticut Magazine in 2017, and we’ve been honored by the towns of New Britain and Berlin. This theater, all of you, and the goals we’ve achieved together will be special to me for life.

My departure from NBYT will likely not be abrupt. For a few months, I’ll continue to do what I can, possibly on a contract basis, and I’ll work with a transition team to help the theater continue. I’ll also be continuing my part-time work with Connecticut Arts Alliance. Beyond that, I’ll be seeking additional work producing, directing, advocating, or consulting for theater or arts education programs and organizations. (You’re welcome to send me referrals!)

I’ve always hoped that NBYT will continue beyond me, and that will only happen with strong community support. If you’d also like to see our theater go on, there are ways you can help:

  • Keep coming to performances (starting with Mary Poppins next week!), classes, and workshops.
  • Tell your friends and family with children and teens about NBYT.
  • Donate to our fundraising campaigns, or by providing raffle prizes or gift cards for us to purchase supplies or goods.
  • Volunteer your time on a new committee. The Volunteer Committee will organize and oversee concession sales and cast parties; will recruit lobby and backstage volunteers for performances and rehearsals; and will help to recruit other volunteers as needed. The Marketing and Fundraising Committee will organize promotions to help publicize performances; will organize and oversee raffles; and will organize and oversee board-run and volunteer-run fundraisers. And the Diversity and Inclusion Committee will work to diversify the board, staff, and participants of NBYT, including overseeing and implementing a scholarship program.
  • If you’re willing and able to take on even more responsibility, consider becoming a member of the Board of Directors.

To help on a committee or the board, contact Board Chairperson Kati Mercier at

I do hope that I’ll see many of you at Mary Poppins on July 26, 27 or 28 to say hello again, and to support this wonderful theater that we’ve built! On with the show…

Darren Farrington
NBYT Executive Director


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